Category Archives: Uncategorized

More about Dubrovnik

…And up ( or down ) one of these alleys, I walked into War Photo Limited’s Exhibition Centre. The gallery’s emphasis ( as the name suggests ) is on conflicts throughout the world, and of course, the photographic memories of the barbarism and savagery of the wars in the Balkans in the early 1990’s. My virtual travelling companion, Misha Glenny’s The Fall Of Yugoslavia had already reminded me of the grim realities of this ghastly unfolding of what became a wholesale regional bloodbath, but the photographs in the exhibition articulated the horrors graphically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Temperatures approach the high 30’s and into the ’40s with regularity, but didn’t quite get there while I visited. Suffice to say, I was pleased it didn’t reach its record; over 50 degrees, in this intriguing landscape – 120m below sea-level. Its good to visit in December…average high temperature…36.7 degrees.

Colours from sulphur, copper, potassium, and chlorine; heated, dissolved and refined, result in not only the dramatically encrusted landscape, but their vaporising also takes your breath away……dip your hands in a blood-temperature oily ‘ potash lake ‘…..there’s a lot going on here….

 

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Coffee in Addis

I’ve been drinking coffee and retracing a few steps from my childhood days. I remember the Black Lion Of Judah, which had only been erected four years before I first arrived in Ethiopia.

Trying to post pictures via Instagram seems slugggggish….not to say, impossibly slow Maybe there’s been some tinkering by the techies?

Abyss ( inia ) revisited…

No other country has a name which so accurately evokes its topography! Most people know it as Ethiopia, of course. The spectacular tortuous road from Addis Ababa down to the coast through Asmara, the Simien Mountains, and the Danakil Depression, are just a few features of the Great Rift which so shape this country.

In 1959, my family flew to Addis Ababa, and we lived there for four years. Although I was only young, I do remember a lot of my life there very vividly. My sister was born there, we travelled overland to what was then called Tanganyika, to Khartoum, to Assab; via places with wonderful names: Axum, Wajir, Gondar, Lalibela, Dire Dawa, Massawa…..

I lived through the first and unsuccessful attempt to unseat Emperor Haile Selassie in 1960.

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My mother – five months pregnant with my sister,  at the time, wrote later about the episode in her memoir:

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….and her poem…..

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Our Man in Addis….

My father had an important title – Overseas Representative For Dunlop Tyres, for East Africa and The Hadramawt, and was based at the offices of the Arabian Trading Company. He made frequent overland trips to see potential clients, and these often turned into long family trips, in the company’s long wheel based Landrover, with nights spent in truck-stops, oases, and under canvas in the open air. 

Wajir – over the border and just into Kenya.

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Back in Addis….

On Sunday, the 11th December, I shall set foot again on the ground in Addis Ababa – 58 years later. It will be interesting to catch up….and I’m looking forward to eating injera and wat in a downtown Addis restaurant!